Greetings friends! I feel like this week’s installment will be a “little” longer than you’re used to so I’ll try and go over the really pertinent information so we can delve into the crazy world of takeover styyyyyle (more on that later). So, if you’re concerned for time, please just read the first section. If you’re not concerned for time then you have a lot of reading to do, if you want. You can also read this with a British accent, if you’d like. And away we go: Firstly, I know many of you were either affected by Hurricane Sandy, know someone who has been or can completely empathize with the events that have taken place south of here. Well, we believe that one thing that we do really well up here in Vermont is come together and help. So, this Wednesday (11/7/12) we here at the Taproom would like to do our part. 10% of ALL of our sales ALL day will go towards the recovery and reconstruction of those who’ve felt the effects of this storm. We feel it’s important to do so and we also feel you feel the same. That’s why we like you.
Switching gears, I’m here to talk about the beer. I’ll start by telling you about some of the tasty treats we have lined up for you!
Lawson’s Finest Hopzilla: Oh yeah, our friend in the valley has truly outdone himself once again. This Double IPA beaming with hops and perfectly suited to have just before you blow fire and has a much shorter tail.
Mystic Decendant: Think Dry Irish Stout. Think English Porter. Think Saison yeast. Think molasses. That’s too much thinking.
Founders Backwoods Bastard: The good people at this awesome Michigan brewery thought that their Scotch ale could use some time in a bourbon barrel. We did not argue. At 10%, this warming elixir is perfectly suited to keep your core warm with the dropping digits. So do vests, mind you, but vests do not fit as nicely into a glass.
End of Part One.
Style Takeover (copyright pending):
You’ve heard of a Tap Takeover right? You know, when a bar puts on a couple (or more) of one brewery’s products so that you can try multiple from the same source? Well, consider this a Style Takeover (or as it sounds in my head, Takeover Styyyyyyyle). First up: Dampfbier/Steambeer. While these two styles are different in their applications, their origins are very similar. Both were born out of sheer necessity and both utilized the goods at hand in order to quench the thirst of the local commoner. Dampfbiers were born in the Bavarian Forest before the Industrial Revolution, while the idea of having materials transported to you was not an option. So, brewers during that time made due of the materials they could access. Firstly, since wheat was far too scarce and expensive for use in brewing in their area, they used the local barley and used what wheat they could get for their bread. Second, although they were in close proximity (realistically speaking) to the Hallertau region (the region that supplies 1/3 of the hops grown in the world) they could not afford to use the fresh and best, so they grew their own and used them. And then they needed yeast to make this concoction into a lovely beer. Well, since they had no way to control their fermentation temperatures it made sense to use a borrowed strain of Weizen yeast (Wheat beer) since that strain of yeast could handle the high temperatures better than the Lager strains. SO, what you have here is an all-barley wort (unfermented beer) bittered and flavored as much as it could be with homegrown hops fermenting madly away with a wheat beer’s yeast. Fermenting SO madly, in fact, that the unassuming eye would think that the beer was boiling during its fermentation and would remark that the beer in that vat looks as if its “steaming” (hence the name). Once this concoction has fermented it was stored in caves dug into the hillside until it was deemed fit for drinking. The resulting beer has the phenolic aspect from the wheat yeast while maintaining a medium bodied (historically) darker brew that is actually quite refreshing.
Now transport yourself into a kind of similar situation with a completely different objective but probably similar aspects of barbarianism. Ahhh: the Gold Rush. The jolly folks of San Francisco were under a similar umbrella. How are we going to make beer for these thirsty miners and gold seekers when all we have access to is Lager yeast? Well, you make due with what you have. The story is a little similar; they don’t have access to refrigeration, there aren’t a lot of hops around to bitter this beer and they’re stymied by only having access to one strain of yeast that requires a temperature controlled environment in order to work correctly. Well, the good people of Anchor Brewing came up with a solution. They fermented their wort in open vessels on the rooftops of the brewery using the crisp Bay air as their refrigerator (which, when seen by a passer-by would make the brewery look like it’s “steaming” (see how that worked?)) and pitched the lager yeast anyway. Steambeer (now a trademark held by Anchor Brewing) was known as the layperson’s beverage since it was widely accessible and cheap. Even Jack London drank it. The beer turns out as if it’s a fuller bodied Lager but retains its drinkable nature.
SO, in the coming future we’re serving TWO different interpretations of this style. One (and how could we not) is THE Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing. And we’re also pouring Slumbrew’s Rising Sun Dampfbier. That way, you (our very pretty and handsome customer) can try both and transport yourself back through the history of beer, one pint at a time.
Lastly: Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. Exclamation Point. There, I’ve met my challenge.
Thanks for hanging in there friends!
(on behalf of) Matt, Scott and Wes.